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Kid Minneapolis
08-07-2012, 09:48 AM
Granger: Pacers 2nd best in East
7:34AM ET
Danny Granger | Pacers (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=ind)

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http://a.espncdn.com/combiner/i?img=/i/headshots/nba/players/full/2760.png&w=65&h=90&scale=crop&background=0xcccccc&transparent=false (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=2760)The Miami Heat (http://espn.go.com/nba/team/_/name/mia/miami-heat) knocked the Indiana Pacers (http://espn.go.com/nba/team/_/name/ind/indiana-pacers) out of the 2012 playoffs in the second round and Danny Granger (http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/2760/danny-granger) is ready to start the new season.
"I'm over it. It happens. They were the better team. I think they deserved to win the championship," Granger tells The Indianapolis Star (http://blogs.indystar.com/pacersinsider/2012/08/05/pacers-granger-believes-theyre-the-second-best-team-in-the-east/). That's the way it goes. We have to get better."
Even though the Boston Celtics (http://espn.go.com/nba/team/_/name/bos/boston-celtics), Brooklyn Nets (http://espn.go.com/nba/team/_/name/bkn/brooklyn-nets) and New York Knicks (http://espn.go.com/nba/team/_/name/ny/new-york-knicks) have improved, Granger believes the Pacers are right behind the Heat in the East.
"It's going to be tough," Granger said. "Brooklyn, they are going to be a threat. Obviously Miami is going to be there, but I think we still view ourselves as a top-2 team in the East."
The Chicago Bulls (http://espn.go.com/nba/team/_/name/chi/chicago-bulls) could be a threat in the 2013 playoffs if Derrick Rose (http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/3456/derrick-rose) is ably to play in the postseason.

-- Nick Borges

Sparhawk
08-07-2012, 10:00 AM
I created a post on how the Pacers can reach 2nd in the East. I think it's very doable. Certainly helps that Rose is out.

Here are my keys to a successful season (no particular order):
1. PGs growth on the offensive and defensive end. He can be a very good all round player. Really needs to step up this season. He can get steals, but he still loses his man constantly and really struggles with picks/screens. PG needs to prove he can be a starting shooting guard. To do that he needs to be aggressive and score.
More on PG
-Only Evan Turner averaged more rebounds/game for a shooting guard
-Only Iman Shumpert and Tony Allen averaged more steals per game than PG
-Oh, and he was top 5 in blocks and top 15 in assists for qualified shooting guards
2. Lance becoming the player we all know he can be. If he can cut down the turnovers and knock down mid range shots while dishing out sick passes, then hes gonna be the backup sg for years to come. Would love to see him subbed as a point against other teams that have slower points. Also, needs to show that hell play hard at the defensive end too. We all saw how he played in Summer League. If he wants a larger role, he has to play both ends.
3. Hibbs needs to show hes earned $14M. No more Mr. Inconsistency. Has to bring it every night.
4. West playing like he did toward the end of the season and into the playoffs.
5. Granger finding and keeping his shot. This guy cant hover around 40% if hes going to be our leading scorer.
6. Hill needs to prove that the Pacers chose right. They gave up a first rounder (a controllable player), and traded away DC. Dude averaged 15 and 5 as a starter. Id like to see him continue to put up those type of numbers while playing strong D. If Hill and PG play up to their potential on defense, they could be the best defensive back-court in the league.
7. How guys need to mesh with the team. Would love to hear that the new guys are working out/playing with the current guys to build some rapport.
8. Green needs to continue to play like he did with the Nets. Backup SF shooting 39% from 3 while shooting close to 50% overall, yes, please! Dude was out of the league not to long ago. Needs to keep that fire burning and show that he can actually get better.
9. Ian is already better than Lou. Like the signing. $4M for a backup C is pretty cheap. Just want this guy to rebound and play good defense.
10. I have no love for Hans, but if he plays more like 2011, then all the better! (Secretly hope that Plumlee works his way to playing backup PF and Hans is traded for a pick before the trade deadline).
11. Augustin needs to show that once hes not the main attraction, letting his game come to him will allow him to play much better. Also, actually getting a pass to our bigs would be a welcome sight.
12. Vogel. Vogel is key. This is his first season to put his personal style on the offense and defense. Love that he preaches defense, but I want to see a more fluid offense. Guys just stand around. Less ISO, more movement.
13. And dear God, can the Pacers bring someone in to show the players how to defend pick n rolls/screens, and how to effectively execute them??

Granted not everything will happen as you would like it to. But if this Pacers team plays like they did last season while having a bench that can actually score, they very well could have the 2nd best record in the east. I definitely think this is very possible.

Since I know not everything on my list will happen, I still think the Pacers will finish between the 2nd best record and 4th best record in the East. Other teams did improve, but the Pacers just needed to improve that bench while getting bigger in the post, and they totally did.

I would still like the Pacers to bring in one more veteran for the bench.

-Tracy McGrady is tops on my list. He'd be a solid fall back in case Lance gets off to a slow start. McGrady would provide veteran leadership and could help teach PG and Lance how to be better SGs.

-Kenyon Martin is #2 on my list. Again, another solid veteran to have on the bench and in case Hans continues to struggle, he'd be a great guy to have come in and cause some havoc. At this point in his career, I doubt his baggage will be much of an issue.

-Andray Blatche is my wild card. I know the Pacers won't bring him in, but here's why they should. Just like Gerald Green, sometimes you don't know what you have until it's gone. He's on the verge of never being a factor in the NBA. Pacers have a solid group of guys that can really knock some sense into him, and let's not forget that the Pacers have Clark Kellogg, who has done wonders with Lance. Just loads of talent in this guy, and the Pacers have the right players/personnel to help him to play the right way. Plus, it'd keep him off the Spurs/Heat who are rumored to be looking at him.

yoadknux
08-07-2012, 10:11 AM
I don't share his opinion, but it's good that our guys have confidence

ChicagoJ
08-07-2012, 10:19 AM
I finally got to read the "blog" at the Star (if "blog" is in the URL then it is filtered at my work.) Interesting comments.

What I really wanted to say was, after I scanned the FB reader comments at the bottom, I felt my IQ falling rapidly. Came back to PD for some hope that -- even though there isn't much to talk about in the summer -- PD is still using its brains even in the offseason.

Pacergeek
08-07-2012, 10:50 AM
Boston and Indiana are neck and neck for the second best team.

Ace E.Anderson
08-07-2012, 11:03 AM
Boston and Indiana are neck and neck for the second best team.

I actually think the C's are going to easily be the 2nd best team in the East. They are CRAZY deep (KG, Bass, PP, Lee, Rondo, Terry, Bradley, Green, Fab, Sullinger) with a GREAT coach in Doc Rivers. They've got size, they've got shooting, they've got a top 15 player in Rondo...the more I think about the C's, I think they could give MIA a run for their money.

I think the pacers are looking at the 3 seed right now with the Nets (top heavy) Knicks (perennial underachievers) and Bulls (great coaching) not too far behind.

I LOVE that the players and coaches believe they're a great team however. Confidence goes a long long way in this league.

Pacergeek
08-07-2012, 11:14 AM
I actually think the C's are going to easily be the 2nd best team in the East. They are CRAZY deep (KG, Bass, PP, Lee, Rondo, Terry, Bradley, Green, Fab, Sullinger) with a GREAT coach in Doc Rivers. They've got size, they've got shooting, they've got a top 15 player in Rondo...the more I think about the C's, I think they could give MIA a run for their money.

I think the pacers are looking at the 3 seed right now with the Nets (top heavy) Knicks (perennial underachievers) and Bulls (great coaching) not too far behind.

I LOVE that the players and coaches believe they're a great team however. Confidence goes a long long way in this league.

On paper, Boston is the better team. The Celtics just tend to mail it in during the regular season

Sparhawk
08-07-2012, 11:28 AM
On paper, Boston is the better team. The Celtics just tend to mail it in during the regular season

I think on paper the Celts look good, and perhaps have some nice depth.

They have some health concerns on that team with Green and Bradley. They've also injected a lot of new players, so it's gonna take time for those guys to mesh. Pacers have their returning starting five and an improved bench.

It can certainly go either way, but the Pacers definitely have a shot at the 2nd best record in the East.

ChicagoJ
08-07-2012, 11:38 AM
Doc Rivers is a great coach? That's news to me. If Doc has a great roster, he wins. If Doc has a lousy roster, he loses. If Doc has an average roster, his team plays about 0.500.

I think Doc was a great announcer, - very articulate, knows the game, sees the court, knows the people, hasn't been tuned out in Boston, but none of those things translate to "great" coach.

He's a good coach.

OlBlu
08-07-2012, 11:46 AM
Doc Rivers is a great coach? That's news to me. If Doc has a great roster, he wins. If Doc has a lousy roster, he loses. If Doc has an average roster, his team plays about 0.500.

I think Doc was a great announcer, - very articulate, knows the game, sees the court, knows the people, hasn't been tuned out in Boston, but none of those things translate to "great" coach.

He's a good coach.

I think Doc is generally considered to be a great coach. He gets a lot out of his players. Vogel is a good coach. I think most of the NBA is very high on Doc as a coach. Check the salaries and you will see who is great and who is good......:cool:

Ownagedood
08-07-2012, 11:48 AM
I see us fighting for 3rd place, a toss up between 2, 3 and 4 tho.

Miami in first

Then a battle between us, Brooklyn and Boston. Boston will probably beat us out, I'm undecided if Brooklyn will or not. It really depends on the maturation of our players.

MillerTime
08-07-2012, 11:50 AM
I love the confidence but I think #2 is a little to high for us.

The East has gotten a lot better over the past few years. Nets are going to be good next season - they finally got some talent around DWill.

Kid Minneapolis
08-07-2012, 11:51 AM
Doc Rivers (Celtics): $7 million
Mike D’Antoni (Knicks-resigned): $6 million

Gregg Popovich (Spurs): $6 million
Nate McMillan (Trail Blazers): $5.5 million
Rick Adelman (Timberwolves): $5 million
Flip Saunders (Wizards-fired): $4.8 million
Rick Carlisle (Mavericks): $4.5 million
Mike Brown (Lakers): $4.5 million
Stan Van Gundy (Magic): $4.5 million
Scott Skiles (Bucks): $4.5 million

I know an up-and-coming coaching star when I see one and Vogel is one. Since Popp and Carlisle are likely never coming here, I'd take Vogel over every one of those guys and take my chances. Indy got lucky on this one.

I look at Vogel as a future Olympic coach.

PR07
08-07-2012, 12:00 PM
I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility. The East is pretty much Miami, then a handful of teams (Bulls *with healthy Rose, Celts, Pacers, and Nets), then everyone else.

Ace E.Anderson
08-07-2012, 12:16 PM
Doc Rivers is a great coach? That's news to me. If Doc has a great roster, he wins. If Doc has a lousy roster, he loses. If Doc has an average roster, his team plays about 0.500.

I think Doc was a great announcer, - very articulate, knows the game, sees the court, knows the people, hasn't been tuned out in Boston, but none of those things translate to "great" coach.

He's a good coach.

Isn't that the case with all coaches, in every sport though? Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, etc only won championships when they had great talent, but never otherwise.

I'm not saying Doc is an all time great coach by any means. He is however EASILY one of the top coaches in the NBA today. {Popovich, Thibs--a fomer assistant of Doc, and maybe Carlisle are the other top coaches)

Ace E.Anderson
08-07-2012, 12:17 PM
Doc Rivers (Celtics): $7 million
Mike DAntoni (Knicks-resigned): $6 million

Gregg Popovich (Spurs): $6 million
Nate McMillan (Trail Blazers): $5.5 million
Rick Adelman (Timberwolves): $5 million
Flip Saunders (Wizards-fired): $4.8 million
Rick Carlisle (Mavericks): $4.5 million
Mike Brown (Lakers): $4.5 million
Stan Van Gundy (Magic): $4.5 million
Scott Skiles (Bucks): $4.5 million

I know an up-and-coming coaching star when I see one and Vogel is one. Since Popp and Carlisle are likely never coming here, I'd take Vogel over every one of those guys and take my chances. Indy got lucky on this one.

I look at Vogel as a future Olympic coach.



Do you mean as the head coach? Or as an assistant?

Kid Minneapolis
08-07-2012, 12:37 PM
Do you mean as the head coach? Or as an assistant?

Either one? At least an assistant, maybe head coach down the road.

docpaul
08-07-2012, 12:45 PM
Hmm. It's the team's (and Granger's) job to believe they're the best team in the NBA.

It's our job as fans to interject some reality.

From that perspective, I'm disappointed that Granger's not making the case for why they aren't the best team in the East.

ChicagoJ
08-07-2012, 01:04 PM
I disagree. The truly great coaches take a lousy roster and get them to 0.500. (Then they get replaced and somebody else gets the credit. Think: Hubie Brown, Kevin Loughery (for the old guys), Fratello, Larry Brown, etc.)

The truly great coaches take an average roster and get them to 50+ wins. (Then they get replaced and somebody else gets the credit. Think: Larry Brown, Don Nelson, Rick Carlisle, George Karl, etc.)

I don't see Doc in that type of category. He's gets out of his team what is expected.

I think you guys are really overselling Vogel. Let's see what he does in his second full season. This has been the nemesis for many coaches in the past. Even in the Pacers history, it wasn't clear after one season just how bad Zeke and Versace were going to turn out to be, as they took average teams and led them to 0.500 records. (It was later that we discovered they had already used all their coaching "tricks" and there was nothing more in reserve.)

Its too early to make the call, and while I think he's been a great leader I'm still not 100% sold on his coaching during the 48 minutes that comprise a basketball game. Time will tell.

graphic-er
08-07-2012, 01:11 PM
Hmm. It's the team's (and Granger's) job to believe they're the best team in the NBA.

It's our job as fans to interject some reality.

From that perspective, I'm disappointed that Granger's not making the case for why they aren't the best team in the East.

To be clear the original quote said he thinks they are a top 2 team in the East. So that gives it a different meaning than 2nd best. Its saying we are one of the top 2 teams.

Kid Minneapolis
08-07-2012, 01:34 PM
I think you guys are really overselling Vogel. Let's see what he does in his second full season. This has been the nemesis for many coaches in the past. Even in the Pacers history, it wasn't clear after one season just how bad Zeke and Versace were going to turn out to be, as they took average teams and led them to 0.500 records. (It was later that we discovered they had already used all their coaching "tricks" and there was nothing more in reserve.)

Its too early to make the call, and while I think he's been a great leader I'm still not 100% sold on his coaching during the 48 minutes that comprise a basketball game. Time will tell.

See, I'm the opposite, I've see enough from a guy who by all means is still "green" to know that he has the traits to be an exceedingly great coach --- he's confident, he's a fantastic communicator, the players respect him, he's a fantastic motivator, he promotes chemistry, and he's proven that while his coaching tactics might still be raw, he learns from his mistakes and makes adjustments. He's smart enough to know to surround himself with great assistants and he works well with them. He's willing to change his plan to fit the players. The only reason his X's and O's are less than perfect is because he has barely two years of actual head coaching experience and was only an assistant before that, and he's still very very young. I'd say for a first-time 30-something coach, he has tremendous innate coaching ability that will only become stronger with more experience.

I'm not saying he's a top 3 coach right now --- I'm saying he's top 10 and give him 5 years and he will be a top 3 or top 2 coach. Indy needs to hold on to this guy.

Kid Minneapolis
08-07-2012, 01:40 PM
As for the original post, I can see it happening. We may not have the star power of the others, but we have a very solid roster one through ten. The way the team is built, which is on length, size, strength, rebounding, defense... you can expect regular-season near-domination, and then that style also translates well in the playoffs. Their one flaw is a lack of a go-to scorer against tough playoff defenses. I still think that will be their achilles heel this year, but we'll see.

I agree though that everyone except Miami (and really even Miami) should not want to play Indy this year. There is no team in the East that is clearly better than Indy except Miami.

Sparhawk
08-07-2012, 02:31 PM
I disagree. The truly great coaches take a lousy roster and get them to 0.500. (Then they get replaced and somebody else gets the credit. Think: Hubie Brown, Kevin Loughery (for the old guys), Fratello, Larry Brown, etc.)

The truly great coaches take an average roster and get them to 50+ wins. (Then they get replaced and somebody else gets the credit. Think: Larry Brown, Don Nelson, Rick Carlisle, George Karl, etc.)

I don't see Doc in that type of category. He's gets out of his team what is expected.

I think you guys are really overselling Vogel. Let's see what he does in his second full season. This has been the nemesis for many coaches in the past. Even in the Pacers history, it wasn't clear after one season just how bad Zeke and Versace were going to turn out to be, as they took average teams and led them to 0.500 records. (It was later that we discovered they had already used all their coaching "tricks" and there was nothing more in reserve.)

Its too early to make the call, and while I think he's been a great leader I'm still not 100% sold on his coaching during the 48 minutes that comprise a basketball game. Time will tell.

I agree on Vogel. This season will be his first real test if you ask me, because this will be his first season to really put his stamp on the offense and defense. I think he can be a damn fine coach, but let's give it some time first.

Kid Minneapolis
08-07-2012, 02:53 PM
I disagree. The truly great coaches take a lousy roster and get them to 0.500. (Then they get replaced and somebody else gets the credit. Think: Hubie Brown, Kevin Loughery (for the old guys), Fratello, Larry Brown, etc.)

The truly great coaches take an average roster and get them to 50+ wins. (Then they get replaced and somebody else gets the credit. Think: Larry Brown, Don Nelson, Rick Carlisle, George Karl, etc.)

Your criteria for a great coach describes to a "T" what the young guy coaching the Pacers achieved in less than two full seasons (our win total projected over a total season would have exceeded 50 last year). He did that without having a full first season, being handed JOB's train-wreck, and having never head-coached before.

I think you all will realize what we have in a few years. I understand that he hasn't achieved it yet, but you'll see. It'll happen. Vogel will be the reason we start to attract big free agents in the next few years.

PGisthefuture
08-07-2012, 02:56 PM
Why does everybody think the Nets are going to be so good? Yeah, I know they got a little better, but they basically just added Joe Johnson. I think they'll make the playoffs for sure, but not going to a top 4 team in the East. I'm still not completely sold on the Celtics either, they've gotta slow down sometime with their best guys being so old.

Ichi
08-07-2012, 03:15 PM
I fully agree with the Nets.. But I think the Celtics could be the best team in the East.. If KG gives them another solid post season performance, I could easily see the Celtics making the Finals. But, that's the kind of If you are talking about of course.

naptownmenace
08-07-2012, 03:47 PM
I disagree. The truly great coaches take a lousy roster and get them to 0.500. (Then they get replaced and somebody else gets the credit. Think: Hubie Brown, Kevin Loughery (for the old guys), Fratello, Larry Brown, etc.)

The truly great coaches take an average roster and get them to 50+ wins. (Then they get replaced and somebody else gets the credit. Think: Larry Brown, Don Nelson, Rick Carlisle, George Karl, etc.)

I don't see Doc in that type of category. He's gets out of his team what is expected.

I think you guys are really overselling Vogel. Let's see what he does in his second full season. This has been the nemesis for many coaches in the past. Even in the Pacers history, it wasn't clear after one season just how bad Zeke and Versace were going to turn out to be, as they took average teams and led them to 0.500 records. (It was later that we discovered they had already used all their coaching "tricks" and there was nothing more in reserve.)

Its too early to make the call, and while I think he's been a great leader I'm still not 100% sold on his coaching during the 48 minutes that comprise a basketball game. Time will tell.

You don't remember his Coach of the Year coaching job with Orlando (prior to TMac) do you? This was the one where he got a bad team to .500 and just missed the playoffs by half a game.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orlando_Magic#1996.E2.80.932000:_The_Penny_Hardawa y_era

In 1999, the Magic, under General Manager John Gabriel, who was later named Executive of the Year, hired rookie-coach Doc Rivers. Gabriel dismantled the previous team trading their only remaining superstar Anfernee Hardaway to the Phoenix Suns for Danny Manning (who never donned a Magic uniform), Pat Garrity, and two future draft picks. The Magic were then a team composed of virtually all no name players and little experience which included team captain Armstrong, Bo Outlaw and a young Ben Wallace, along with Coach Rivers led the Magic to a 4141 record, barely missing out on the playoffs. At the end of the season Rivers was named Coach of the Year. That year was characterized by the slogan "Heart and Hustle", as the team was known for its hard-working style.

Mr.ThunderMakeR
08-07-2012, 04:23 PM
Why does everybody think the Nets are going to be so good? Yeah, I know they got a little better, but they basically just added Joe Johnson. I think they'll make the playoffs for sure, but not going to a top 4 team in the East. I'm still not completely sold on the Celtics either, they've gotta slow down sometime with their best guys being so old.Same thing I've been wondering. They finished 12th in the East last year. Joe Johnson is a very good player, but I don't think he's going to take the Nets from 12th place to 2nd in one year....

ChicagoJ
08-07-2012, 04:39 PM
Naptown, I thought he was great that season in Orlando. I like Doc, liked Doc as a player, but I haven't seen a lot of progress from him beyond that first season in Orlando. Reminds me of my favorite player of all time. You know, Rookie of the Year in 86-87. Great shooter, could score from anywhere inside of a four-block area bordered by Meridian Street, Maryland Street, New York Street and College Ave. CLUTCH. Even rebounded as a rookie. And he probably also plateaued as a rookie. Just like Doc as a coach.

I think Doc is as smart as any coach out there. Enjoy his press conferences. But I don't think he gets results above and beyond what his roster would give any coach. Secretly wish he was still broadcasting.

Ace E.Anderson
08-07-2012, 04:41 PM
Same thing I've been wondering. They finished 12th in the East last year. Joe Johnson is a very good player, but I don't think he's going to take the Nets from 12th place to 2nd in one year....

I agree that he won't take them from 12th to 2nd, and I honestly feel that D.Will is somewhat overratted. But I think they'll see a good raise in the standings because of more than just Joe Johnson. Brook Lopez was out for a lot of the past 2 years. A front line of Brook, Humpries, and Wallace is pretty good; as they fit rather well together (with Wallace being the defender/slasher, Humphries the rebounder/banger, and Lopez the post presence offensively)

Also Brooks now becomes their 6th man/scorer off the bench. This probably benefits him as all he needs to worry about is scoring. They also added CJ Watson, who is a pretty good backup PG and is strong defensively. They don't have much else, if anything else at all, but they are a decently balanced team. Probably the most balanced team D.Will has played on.

I see them being in the 4,5,6 range depending on injuries and how quickly they can mesh together.

ChicagoJ
08-07-2012, 04:45 PM
See, I'm the opposite, I've see enough from a guy who by all means is still "green" to know that he has the traits to be an exceedingly great coach --- he's confident, he's a fantastic communicator, the players respect him, he's a fantastic motivator, he promotes chemistry, and he's proven that while his coaching tactics might still be raw, he learns from his mistakes and makes adjustments. He's smart enough to know to surround himself with great assistants and he works well with them. He's willing to change his plan to fit the players. The only reason his X's and O's are less than perfect is because he has barely two years of actual head coaching experience and was only an assistant before that, and he's still very very young. I'd say for a first-time 30-something coach, he has tremendous innate coaching ability that will only become stronger with more experience.

I'm not saying he's a top 3 coach right now --- I'm saying he's top 10 and give him 5 years and he will be a top 3 or top 2 coach. Indy needs to hold on to this guy.

I see what you're getting at, and I continue to say that I don't think there is a better option out there for the Pacers. He is worth investing in, but he's not a finished product and I'm not going to project him out until he proves more.

I think Mike Woodson and Randy Wittman have shown similar characteristics as well, Atlanta had more patience with Mike than anybody has shown so far with Randy. Vogel wouldn't look any better with the 2002 Atlanta Hawks under Woodson nor last year's Wizards under Wittman.

MillerTime
08-07-2012, 04:51 PM
I think a lot of people are undervaluing the Nets.

pacergod2
08-07-2012, 06:06 PM
I think the biggest downfall for the Nets, is where are the jumpshots going to come from in the pick and roll?

They are going to have the ball in DWill's hands so much that I think Johnson will have to adapt to playing off the ball more than he has in previous seasons. DWill will be running PnR to Humphries side and if he dumps to Humphries, he will have to be capable of hitting that jump shot. If he is and it forces the defense to collapse harder, it will free up Lopez and Johnson from the other side. If he isn't and the defense sags, it will be difficult to get the ball back into a playmaker's hands. On the other side of the offense, we will see Johnson feeding Lopez in the post, which I really like. Johnson can break his man down off the dribble and is a very good passer off the dribble, which will lead to easier post entry passes if his man pushes back off of him more. I really like that team defensively. Lopez and Humphries are the Achilles defensively, but they compliment one another, so I could really see the Nets doing some things this year if they stay healthy.

The Knicks I think will be the second seed in the East this year. I hate saying it, but for reason I think this team starts to put it together and Woodson will hammer them defensively. Chandler and Camby will set the tone defensively and can make up for Amare's short comings. Melo is good defensively when he tries. They added Felton who is completely dependent upon his conditioning. I just see them slowing the tempo down a lot and grinding out games that they end up winning 90-85 and Melo averaging 28ppg.

I think the Bulls will get too far behind in the standings before Rose gets back. They will bring him back too early and he will probably not play more than 20 games on the year. I think they will be a very competitive team, because of their defense, but they just don't have the horses without Rose.

The Celtics are an injury away from being the fifth best team in the conference. They could have the second best record as well. They really are relying heavily on their young bigs to come in and be productive off the bench early in the year. I think they will force feed those kids minutes to see how they respond and can be more seasoned by the time the post season rolls around.

I think we got much more athletic and that will bode well for us. I think we have several players whose career progression is at that point where they transition to heavy rotation players in Green and Mahinmi. DJ is obviously ready for that role. Mahinmi and Green both got solid minutes last year and contributed to both side s of the ball. I think we got better as long as Hansborough has gotten better in the team concept offensively, where he doesn't hurt us half the games he plays. I really think our veterans will have this team ready to start the season and it will be important, because the top two teams in the East are going to want those easier first round matchups. There will be two teams that go home in the first round that have the potentail to get to the ECF. There are six teams that are clear cut championship caliber teams in the East. I think the Heat might come out slow next year with Wade coming off surgery and Lebron the Olympics and it could be the way they get beat in the playoffs next year by having a more difficult road as a three seed.

I think we will be the three seed next year. I think one of those teams will start out hot and keep up their tempo (and I'm guessing it's the Knicks). We will be one of those teams, but I see Boston, Chicago and Brooklyn, being 4-6.

Ace E.Anderson
08-07-2012, 06:21 PM
I think the biggest downfall for the Nets, is where are the jumpshots going to come from in the pick and roll?

They are going to have the ball in DWill's hands so much that I think Johnson will have to adapt to playing off the ball more than he has in previous seasons. DWill will be running PnR to Humphries side and if he dumps to Humphries, he will have to be capable of hitting that jump shot. If he is and it forces the defense to collapse harder, it will free up Lopez and Johnson from the other side. If he isn't and the defense sags, it will be difficult to get the ball back into a playmaker's hands. On the other side of the offense, we will see Johnson feeding Lopez in the post, which I really like. Johnson can break his man down off the dribble and is a very good passer off the dribble, which will lead to easier post entry passes if his man pushes back off of him more. I really like that team defensively. Lopez and Humphries are the Achilles defensively, but they compliment one another, so I could really see the Nets doing some things this year if they stay healthy.

The Knicks I think will be the second seed in the East this year. I hate saying it, but for reason I think this team starts to put it together and Woodson will hammer them defensively. Chandler and Camby will set the tone defensively and can make up for Amare's short comings. Melo is good defensively when he tries. They added Felton who is completely dependent upon his conditioning. I just see them slowing the tempo down a lot and grinding out games that they end up winning 90-85 and Melo averaging 28ppg.

I think the Bulls will get too far behind in the standings before Rose gets back. They will bring him back too early and he will probably not play more than 20 games on the year. I think they will be a very competitive team, because of their defense, but they just don't have the horses without Rose.

The Celtics are an injury away from being the fifth best team in the conference. They could have the second best record as well. They really are relying heavily on their young bigs to come in and be productive off the bench early in the year. I think they will force feed those kids minutes to see how they respond and can be more seasoned by the time the post season rolls around.

I think we got much more athletic and that will bode well for us. I think we have several players whose career progression is at that point where they transition to heavy rotation players in Green and Mahinmi. DJ is obviously ready for that role. Mahinmi and Green both got solid minutes last year and contributed to both side s of the ball. I think we got better as long as Hansborough has gotten better in the team concept offensively, where he doesn't hurt us half the games he plays. I really think our veterans will have this team ready to start the season and it will be important, because the top two teams in the East are going to want those easier first round matchups. There will be two teams that go home in the first round that have the potentail to get to the ECF. There are six teams that are clear cut championship caliber teams in the East. I think the Heat might come out slow next year with Wade coming off surgery and Lebron the Olympics and it could be the way they get beat in the playoffs next year by having a more difficult road as a three seed.

I think we will be the three seed next year. I think one of those teams will start out hot and keep up their tempo (and I'm guessing it's the Knicks). We will be one of those teams, but I see Boston, Chicago and Brooklyn, being 4-6.

The thing about the Knicks is they ALWAYS under-achieve. I dont know if it was a D'Antoni thing or what, but they have all the talent in the world, yet they don't capitalize. They played their best when Melo was playing the 4 and surrounded him with athletic wings who could defend and knock down 3's when necessary. If they could do that, I'd jump on the bandwagon, but they HAVE to play Amare and he looks worse and worse. (started his NY career looking GREAT but hasn't been the same post injury)

Shumpert will be out for the beginning of the season following his ACL tear, and then it'll take the rest of the season for him to get his explosiveness back. Brewer is a very good pickup, and probably starts over J.R. Smith, but he can't shoot a lick so where do the 3's come from in the starting line-up?

Their PG's are Jason Kidd, who at this point is an average stand-still 3pt shooter, and above average passer and THATS IT, and Felton, who I actually think will have a bounce back season, but has never been an efficient player--outside of the 30 something games he played under D'Antoni.

I agree that if they're able to keep up their defensive intensity, they're a scary team because Melo is very clutch down the stretch. But his offense is very ISO driven, and teams will be able to load up on Melo.

I'm with you on everything else you said however. Although I think Boston could be the 2 seed. Should make for an interesting season, no doubt

OlBlu
08-08-2012, 01:09 PM
[SIZE=2]I know an up-and-coming coaching star when I see one and Vogel is one. Since Popp and Carlisle are likely never coming here, I'd take Vogel over every one of those guys and take my chances. Indy got lucky on this one.

I look at Vogel as a future Olympic coach.

What? I think you are having some kind of delusionary episode. Vogel is at the very bottom of the coaching ranks and he is many years from being compared to the people you mention or coaching an Olympic team. Check back with me in twenty years.....:cool: ...

J7F
08-08-2012, 02:05 PM
[SIZE=2]I know an up-and-coming coaching star when I see one and Vogel is one. Since Popp and Carlisle are likely never coming here, I'd take Vogel over every one of those guys and take my chances. Indy got lucky on this one.

I look at Vogel as a future Olympic coach.

What? I think you are having some kind of delusionary episode. Vogel is at the very bottom of the coaching ranks and he is many years from being compared to the people you mention or coaching an Olympic team. Check back with me in twenty years.....:cool: ...

Frank did finish in 2nd place for coach of the year, correct? In his first full season as HC...

I don't think him becoming an Olympic coach is out of the question...

mildlysane
08-08-2012, 03:15 PM
[SIZE=2]I know an up-and-coming coaching star when I see one and Vogel is one. Since Popp and Carlisle are likely never coming here, I'd take Vogel over every one of those guys and take my chances. Indy got lucky on this one.

I look at Vogel as a future Olympic coach.

What? I think you are having some kind of delusionary episode. Vogel is at the very bottom of the coaching ranks and he is many years from being compared to the people you mention or coaching an Olympic team. Check back with me in twenty years.....:cool: ...

No love for the Indiana coach from Olblu? Shocking! 20 years....wow. There was talk in Boston of canning Rivers until they got Allen and KG. 20 years and very bottom of the coaching ranks....smh. With a roster as horrible as you say we had and a coach at the very bottom of the ranks of coaches, how unbelievably lucky were we to have the 5th best record in the league last year in your Universe? I mean that is beyond Powerball lucky.

TOP
08-08-2012, 04:01 PM
I actually think the C's are going to easily be the 2nd best team in the East. They are CRAZY deep (KG, Bass, PP, Lee, Rondo, Terry, Bradley, Green, Fab, Sullinger) with a GREAT coach in Doc Rivers. They've got size, they've got shooting, they've got a top 15 player in Rondo...the more I think about the C's, I think they could give MIA a run for their money.

I think the pacers are looking at the 3 seed right now with the Nets (top heavy) Knicks (perennial underachievers) and Bulls (great coaching) not too far behind.

I LOVE that the players and coaches believe they're a great team however. Confidence goes a long long way in this league.

Jeff Green just missed an entire season and Melo/Sullinger are rookies.

Those are some big what ifs.

Would be interesting if both Melo and Sullinger contributed that much as rookies after tumbling down the boards. Sullinger might contribute but I could see him being a big liability defensively. As for Melo, unless he's just better suited for the NBA, I don't see him contributing much as a rookie. He didn't live up to the hype at Syracuse and I wouldn't be surprised if he has a similar career to Hasheem Thabeet.

TOP
08-08-2012, 04:10 PM
I think a lot of people are undervaluing the Nets.

Perhaps.

But on paper, their front court is pretty awful when it comes to rebounding and defense. Their SF is as good a rebounder as their Center. They only have 1 center by the way. And their best rebounder is their 3rd string big man.

They could be good, the Heat managed to win a championship with Bosh as their only quality big man. The Heat also had Lebron.

Ace E.Anderson
08-08-2012, 04:24 PM
Jeff Green just missed an entire season and Melo/Sullinger are rookies.

Those are some big what ifs.

Would be interesting if both Melo and Sullinger contributed that much as rookies after tumbling down the boards. Sullinger might contribute but I could see him being a big liability defensively. As for Melo, unless he's just better suited for the NBA, I don't see him contributing much as a rookie. He didn't live up to the hype at Syracuse and I wouldn't be surprised if he has a similar career to Hasheem Thabeet.

Jeff Green's "injury" was more of a sickness than an injury. He didn't hurt a knee, or an ankle, he had a heart issue, and then had surgery to take care of it. Assuming everything went okay, I don't see how him taking a year off would hurt him outside of needing to get his timing and conditioning back.

The rookies don't need to play PROMINENT roles, just some time off the bench. Especially Melo. The thing about Thabeet and busts like them is that a lot of the time they dont have vets that show them how to be a professional. Melo is coming in to play with KG, there's no way KG isn't going to be on this kid from day 1, talking about his defense. All Melo needs to do is be a presence defensively for 12-15 mpg the same way Stiemsma did last year.

The C's played all last year without any of these guys and gave the Heat their toughest series in the playoffs.

I know a lot of people don't think the Celtics are going to be atop the East, but every year they seem to be right there.

Pacergeek
08-08-2012, 04:25 PM
1. Miami- defending champions and didn't lose any significant players in the off-season
2. Indiana- have entire starting 5 returning as well as an improved bench.
3. Boston- on paper they are the second best team, but due to age they tend to coast through the regular season
4. Chicago- how effective will Derrick Rose be coming off a serious injury? Maybe overachieved a bit last year in the regular season
5. Philadelphia- still a young and talented team, but didn't really do much in the off season to upgrade the roster
6. New York- questions about team chemistry and overall depth, but any team with Carmello Anthony is dangerous
7. Brooklyn- should return to the playoffs after missing the past few seasons. Addition of Joe Johnson gives the Nets hope
8. Atlanta- Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Jeff Teague is enough to qualify for the 8th seed in the east

trendy sleeper pick-Cavs- Irving was impressive as a rookie, and could lead Cavs to the playoffs

Ace E.Anderson
08-08-2012, 04:26 PM
Perhaps.

But on paper, their front court is pretty awful when it comes to rebounding and defense. Their SF is as good a rebounder as their Center. They only have 1 center by the way. And their best rebounder is their 3rd string big man.

They could be good, the Heat managed to win a championship with Bosh as their only quality big man. The Heat also had Lebron.

Kris Humphries has been a double digit rebounder the last 2 years, and averaged 11 last year. He's one of the better rebounding PF's in the game right now.

vnzla81
08-08-2012, 05:17 PM
Perhaps.

But on paper, their front court is pretty awful when it comes to rebounding and defense. Their SF is as good a rebounder as their Center. They only have 1 center by the way. And their best rebounder is their 3rd string big man.

They could be good, the Heat managed to win a championship with Bosh as their only quality big man. The Heat also had Lebron.

If they are pretty awful in rebounding and D I wonder what that makes the Pacers........

J7F
08-08-2012, 07:01 PM
If they are pretty awful in rebounding and D I wonder what that makes the Pacers........

I agree regarding rebounding...

Brook Lopez 6.0 RPG (in his last full season)
Kris Humphries 11.0 RPG
Gerald Wallace 6.8 RPG

Total: 23.8

Roy Hibbert 8.8 RPG
David West 6.6 RPG
Danny Granger 3.7

Total: 19.1

Gerald and Kris are both high quality rebounders for their position...


But Roy alone makes our front court better defensively than Brooklyn's... He owns the paint on that end... Straight up!

xIndyFan
08-08-2012, 09:39 PM
Don't know about the rest of them, but the knicks are about right. Carmelo can get them to a playoff berth, but no farther. Melo only plays one way. and that way means it doesn't really matter who is on the team with him. He's good enough to qualify, but not good enough to win.


1. Miami- defending champions and didn't lose any significant players in the off-season
2. Indiana- have entire starting 5 returning as well as an improved bench.
3. Boston- on paper they are the second best team, but due to age they tend to coast through the regular season
4. Chicago- how effective will Derrick Rose be coming off a serious injury? Maybe overachieved a bit last year in the regular season
5. Philadelphia- still a young and talented team, but didn't really do much in the off season to upgrade the roster
6. New York- questions about team chemistry and overall depth, but any team with Carmello Anthony is dangerous
7. Brooklyn- should return to the playoffs after missing the past few seasons. Addition of Joe Johnson gives the Nets hope
8. Atlanta- Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Jeff Teague is enough to qualify for the 8th seed in the east

trendy sleeper pick-Cavs- Irving was impressive as a rookie, and could lead Cavs to the playoffs

Hoop
08-08-2012, 10:33 PM
Reminds me of my favorite player of all time. You know, Rookie of the Year in 86-87. Great shooter, could score from anywhere inside of a four-block area bordered by Meridian Street, Maryland Street, New York Street and College Ave. CLUTCH. Even rebounded as a rookie. And he probably also plateaued as a rookie.

Had to highlight this part out. He's the one that made me a Pacer fanatic, I was a fan before, but he put us on the NBA map IMO.

BlueNGold
08-09-2012, 04:47 PM
I am not at all afraid of the Celtics. The only reason they took Miami to 7 games is because after the first quarter of that series, Miami had zero fear of the Celtics. They had just beaten a young, solid, though not spectacular Indiana team...and knew what they had to do to beat the aging Celtics. Shut them down on D.

Notice the Celtics scored the least in games 1 and 7. That's a clear indication that Miami eased off the gas. I don't believe that the Celtics were necessarily more tired that last game. If anything, they should have been up for it. But Miami clamped down when it counted.

Now, when they played OKC, they really had to work. Harder than against Indiana. But under no circumstances was Boston a real threat. They just provided mega ad revenue, so 7 games was quite lucrative.

PR07
08-09-2012, 05:04 PM
Why does everybody think the Nets are going to be so good? Yeah, I know they got a little better, but they basically just added Joe Johnson. I think they'll make the playoffs for sure, but not going to a top 4 team in the East. I'm still not completely sold on the Celtics either, they've gotta slow down sometime with their best guys being so old.

I don't think they'll be outstanding, but a starting lineup of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, a healthy Brook Lopez, and whoever should be pretty good. Certainly better than most Eastern Conference teams.

xIndyFan
08-09-2012, 05:08 PM
:iagree:

Boston could be a good team, if all the question marks they have get answered in their favor. But that is true of pretty much every team except the really bad teams. If Garnett and Pierce are still young and not old. If Brandon Bass can play like he's 6 inches taller than he really is. IF Courtney Lee can score. If Jason Terry can defend. If Bradley is a real NBA player. If melo and sullinger are NBA players. The only sure thing on their roster is Rondo. Too many question marks to be a contender.


I am not at all afraid of the Celtics. The only reason they took Miami to 7 games is because after the first quarter of that series, Miami had zero fear of the Celtics. They had just beaten a young, solid, though not spectacular Indiana team...and knew what they had to do to beat the aging Celtics. Shut them down on D.

Notice the Celtics scored the least in games 1 and 7. That's a clear indication that Miami eased off the gas. I don't believe that the Celtics were necessarily more tired that last game. If anything, they should have been up for it. But Miami clamped down when it counted.

Now, when they played OKC, they really had to work. Harder than against Indiana. But under no circumstances was Boston a real threat. They just provided mega ad revenue, so 7 games was quite lucrative.

Ace E.Anderson
08-09-2012, 06:22 PM
I am not at all afraid of the Celtics. The only reason they took Miami to 7 games is because after the first quarter of that series, Miami had zero fear of the Celtics. They had just beaten a young, solid, though not spectacular Indiana team...and knew what they had to do to beat the aging Celtics. Shut them down on D.

Notice the Celtics scored the least in games 1 and 7. That's a clear indication that Miami eased off the gas. I don't believe that the Celtics were necessarily more tired that last game. If anything, they should have been up for it. But Miami clamped down when it counted.

Now, when they played OKC, they really had to work. Harder than against Indiana. But under no circumstances was Boston a real threat. They just provided mega ad revenue, so 7 games was quite lucrative.

NO team goes to game 7 if they can avoid it. There are too many fluky things that can happen (lucky shot, injury, someone gets hot, etc) also the Celtics led the series 3-2 going BACK TO BOSTON. It took a hall of fame type effort from Lebron to force game 7.

I think the Heat may have taken IND lightly at first, but not Boston. Especially after the times in CLE the Celts knocked Lebron out of the playoffs

Pacergeek
08-09-2012, 07:41 PM
I don't think they'll be outstanding, but a starting lineup of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, a healthy Brook Lopez, and whoever should be pretty good. Certainly better than most Eastern Conference teams.

Brook Lopez isn't anything special. Gerald Wallace is good veteran and a pretty decent guy to have as your fourth best player. Joe Johnson and Deron Williams are yesterdays news to me.

BlueNGold
08-09-2012, 08:01 PM
NO team goes to game 7 if they can avoid it. There are too many fluky things that can happen (lucky shot, injury, someone gets hot, etc) also the Celtics led the series 3-2 going BACK TO BOSTON. It took a hall of fame type effort from Lebron to force game 7.

I think the Heat may have taken IND lightly at first, but not Boston. Especially after the times in CLE the Celts knocked Lebron out of the playoffs

Normally I would agree with your first sentence and most of your post. The Heat definitely started their series respecting Boston. But watching that first quarter I could tell the Heat knew it was already over. In no way do I think the Pacers are contenders, but I do believe the Heat thought this: "Boston isn't going to be as tough an out as Indiana". That was evident just looking at the Heat as compared to the Indiana series. Then, when they played OKC, it was back to full effort 100% of the time...and it took that. Now...I doubt they actually sandbagged, but I do think they became comfortable and not that worried. I've played basketball long enough to know that feeling.